Hamas scored a direct hit with an anti-tank missile that hit a bus transporting IDF troops Thursday morning just outside of the Zikim base south of Ashkelon. The missile tore through the bulletproof armor and exploded but tragedy was narrowly averted as ten soldiers from the Paratroopers Brigade had descended from the bus just moments before the attack. A soldier standing nearby was lightly injured by shrapnel. The soldiers were returning from a successful mission.
טיל נ”ט שוגר מעזה על אוטובוס ריק – ישראלי שעמד סמוך נפצע קל מאוד@roysharon11 @ItayBlumental pic.twitter.com/DHQBAYbtnp
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) May 20, 2021
Hamas posted a video of the attack, intending to show a victory when, in fact, they were illustrating God’s great mercy and protection of the People of Israel.
Hamas releases a video of its ATGM attack toward an empty IDF bus on the Gaza border this morning. pic.twitter.com/YhHYetfqzJ
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) May 20, 2021
Remarkably, the driver was not hurt. “It was another trip for me, I dropped the soldiers off at the base and waited to take another batch of soldiers out of there. Then, suddenly, there was no siren, and I was struck,” Meir Vaknin, the driver, told Channel 12 news. “The soldiers rushed to my seat because they thought I was injured, but everything was fine. I got out of it on my own. Everything was fine,” he said.
The IDF carried out a strike in response, hitting a car in northern Gaza. The two occupants of the car, armed members of Hamas’s anti-tank missile unit, were killed in the attack. The IDF also destroyed launchpad in Beit Lahiya where the anti-tank missile was fired from. In a similar attack last Tuesday, an IDF jeep was hit by an anti-tank missile, killing Staff Sgt. Omer Tabib and wounding two others.